Just Because Supreme Court Passes on PISD-Off Parents' Appeal Doesn't Mean This is Over
At this late date is there really any reason to go back and retell the tale of the Ghost of War on Christmas Past? You remember this, right? Kids at Plano Independent School District elementary schools pass out "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" pencils and Christian-flavored candy canes amongst other religious doodads; school district says, "Nuh-unh"; parents say, "Yuh-hunh"; Bill O'Reilly shouts, "War on Christmas!"; lawyers say, "Whoo-hoo"; courts say, "Ho ho no."
Anyway. Right before Christmas last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that PISD's policy was Constitutional. So, off to the U.S. Supreme Court went the parents. Except, today, the Supremes refused to hear the appeal. But by no means is this over: There are still claims remaining against the individual defendants -- Lynn Swanson, principal of Thomas Elementary, and Jackie Bomchill, principal of Rasor Elementary. Those are working their way through district court and the 5th Circuit, which recently heard oral arguments and will hand down its ruling, well, when it gets 'round it.
"I think it was the right decision," says Josh Skinner, the Dallas attorney repping the two Plano principals, when I called to ask him about the Supremes' pass today. "It means the current policy has been upheld, and that the 5th Circuit's ruling upholding it stands." But he's not celebrating, since his clients -- who acted to enforce district policy -- are awaiting the district and appeals courts' ruling. The plaintiffs, he summarizes, "argued they were not acting within language of the policy. They haven't proven any of that, but that's what they are saying."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.
- Can You Believe Somebody Is Trying to Solve Mentally Ill Homelessness?
Fri., Dec. 4, 7:30pm
Fri., Dec. 4, 8:00pm
Sat., Dec. 5, 12:00am
Sat., Dec. 5, 12:30pm
- 5 Things You Should Know About Dallas' Pension Crisis
- City Plan Commissioner Abtahi Kept Off Virgin America Flight Home